We believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Holy Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments which are the complete and divine revelation of God to man. In the original writings they are without error and they not only contain, but are the very Word of God. They are therefore our final authority for faith and sufficient for life and godliness. The Scriptures shall be interpreted I their literal, grammatical-historical context. (Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:6; II Peter 1:19-21; II Tim. 3:16-17; I Thess. 2:13; Rev. 22:18-19; II Peter 1:3-4)
We believe that there is one, and only one, loving and true God, an infinite, eternal, and intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. We believe that in the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious functions. (John 1:1-4; 4:24; Rev. 4:11; Matt. 28:19-20; Ps 90:2; II Cor. 13:14)
The Father – We believe that the Scriptures teach that 1) God the Father is perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, and measureless in power (Ex. 15:11; Rom. 11:33; Eph. 1:19-20; Job 36:5). 2) He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men. He hears and answers prayer (Jer. 33:3; John 14-13-16; I Peter 5:6-7). 3) He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Col 1:12; John 6:37).
The Son – We believe that the Scriptures teach that 1) Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, possessing both absolute Deity and perfect humanity, and He lived a sinless life (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18, 22-23; Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:6-7). 2) He came that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. He bore our sins in His own body on the cross and gave His life as a sufficient, substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (John 1:11-13; I John 5:20; I Cor. 15:1-4; II Cor. 5:21; I Peter 3:18). 3) The Lord’s crucified body was raised from the dead on the third day, and after 40 days He ascended bodily into heaven and is today exalted at the right hand of God, acting as the believer’s Advocate and Great High Priest (Matt. 28:1-10; Heb. 4:15; I John 2:1-2).
The Holy Spirit – We believe the Scriptures teach that 1) The Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature (John 14:16-17; Eph. 1:13-14). 2) He was active in creation. He is actively involved in the world today and restrains evil in the world to the measure of the divine will (Gen. 1:2; John 14:16). 3) He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement. He bears witness to the truth of the gospel in preaching and testimony and is the Agent of the New Birth. In salvation, He indwells, seals, baptizes, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer (John 16:7-9; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5-7; John 16: 13-14; Acts 11:16; Rom. 8:9-11; II Thess. 2:13; I Peter 1:2).
The Works of the Holy Spirit – We believe that the Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit was given to the Church on the day of Pentecost and is that Comforter promised by Jesus Christ to His apostles. 1) The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is that work of the Holy Spirit wherein the believer is baptized into the Body of Christ (the Church) (Rom. 6:3; I Cor. 12:13). 2) The filling of the Holy Spirit results when the believer submits to the Lordship of Christ with the evidence being the Fruit of the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). 3) The gifts of the Spirit to individuals are spiritual abilities given to each member of the Body of Christ that are to be used in ministry to others (I Peter 4:10-11; Rom. 12:4-8; I Cor 12-14).
Specially Gifted Individuals were given to the church “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-12)
The Apostles of Christ (the eleven plus Matthias and Paul) and later the church in Antioch sent out missionaries which were called apostles (an apostle is one sent with a message). These included Paul and Barnabas and later Silas who were sent forth by the church and by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:4; I Thess. 2:1-10; Acts 14:4). The Apostles of Christ did not hand down their apostleship to those coming after them. The miraculous gifts of prophecy, tongues, healing, etc. were primarily given as signs to the unbelieving Jews and the early church (I Cor. 14:22). We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues never has been a common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, through God may choose to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing. These sign gifts ceased at or prior to the completion of the canon of Scripture. (I Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22; Rev. 22:18-19).
Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors/Teachers or Pastors and Teachers (Acts 13:1; Eph 4:11; Acts 21:9)
Physical World – We believe the Scriptures teach that 1) The creation of the universe, mankind and all living things was the result of the direct creative act of God, for His glory without existing materials or secondary causes, and not from previously existing forms of life (Gen 1:1-15; Ex.20:11; 31:17; Heb. 11:3; Acts 4:24; Col. 1:16-17; John 1:1-3). 2) Man (Adam) was the chief of God’s creation. All men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race (Gen. 1:26-28). 3) The Genesis account of creation in six literal, twenty-four hour days is accepted literally and not allegorically or figuratively and does not allow for evolution in any form (Gen. 1:5; Ex. 20:11; Heb. 11:3).
Angels – We believe the Scriptures teach that 1) Angels exist and are spirit being created by God for the purpose of bringing Him glory and fulfilling His purpose in the universe (Ps. 103:20; Ps. 148:2, 5). 2) Though more powerful than human being, they are not all powerful and do not have the attributes of deity (Heb. 1:13-14).
Satan – We believe the Scriptures teach that 1) Satan, the Devil, is a distinct personality. 2) He was created beautiful and morally good by God as an angel but through pride and rebellion became the enemy of his Creator (Isa. 14:12-15). 3) He became the unholy god of this age and the ruler of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgement of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Rev. 12:9).
Man – We believe the Scriptures teach that 1) Man was a direct creation of God. God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life and man became a living soul. (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7). 2) Man was created in the image and likeness of God and in a state of sinlessness and innocence. God created them male and female, equal in essence, and He appointed to them different and complimentary roles and functions (Gen. 2:18, 20, 21, 24; I Cor. 11:7-8; I Tim. 2:8-14).
The Fall of Man – We believe the Scriptures teach that 1) Man was created in innocence, but by voluntary transgression, Adam fell from his sinless and perfect state (Gen 2:7, 3:1-7). 2) All men sinned in him and are by consequence totally depraved and are partakers of Adam’s fallen nature (Ps. 14:1-3; Rom. 3:10-12; 8:6-8; Eph. 2:1-3). 3) Men are sinners by nature and by conduct; and therefore, are under just condemnation without defense or excuse (Rom. 3:23, 5:12-19).
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again (John 3:3-5); that the new birth is a miraculous transaction whereby the sinner becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus (II Cor. 5:17); that it is instantaneous and not a process; that, in the new birth, one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new birth is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, not by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life. We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace. No man can be saved unless God draws him (John 6:37, 44).
- We believe that Christ’s death, burial and resurrection is the only basis for salvation (I Cor. 15:1-4).
- Salvation is only possible through the shed blood of Christ (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22; I Peter 1:18-19).
- Salvation is a substitutional sacrifice for all the sins of men (Isa. 53; I Peter 2:24; II Cor. 5:21).
- Salvation is a gift and is offered freely to all mankind (Rom. 5:15; 6:23; 10:13; I Tim. 2:6; II Peter 3:9), but it is only applied to those who repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior (John 1:12-13; Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9; I Tim. 4:10; I John 2:2).
- Salvation is not a general belief in God (James 2:19). It is a one-time act that can never be repeated. It is called and illustrated by the term “born again” (John 1:12; John 3; I Peter 1:23; I John 3:1-2).
- Salvation can never be lost (John 1:12; John 3; I Peter 1:23; I John 3:1-2).
- Man has been given a free will by God to make choices. Man can either choose to accept Christ as his Savior or reject Him (Rom. 4:24; 6:8; I Cor. 1:21; II Peter 3:9; Rev. 22:17).
We believe several things take place prior to and at the point of salvation:
- Atonement – Christ is the substitute who bears the punishment rightly due sinners, their guilt being imputed (assigned, ascribe, charged) to Him in such a way that He representatively bore their punishment (II Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; I Tim. 2:6; Heb. 9:28; I John 2:2).
- Reconciliation – Because of Man’s inability, lack of merit and unrighteousness he stands as condemnation before God. Christ’s sacrificial death paid the sin debt and reconciles sinful man to Holy God (Rom. 5:10; II Cor. 5:18).
- Redemption – The deliverance from bondage and consequences of sin through the payment of Christ’s death, whereby He purchased us out of the slave market of sin and set us free. (Rom. 3:24; I Cor. 1:30; Gal. 3:13; Col. 1:14; Titus 2:14; Heb. 9:12, 28; I Peter 1:18-19).
- Propitiation – The satisfaction of all God’s righteous demands for justice on sin and the sinner by the death and shed blood of Christ (Rom. 3:25; I John 2:2, 4:10).
- Repentance – is turning from sin and turning to God (Matt. 3:2; I John 2:2, 4:10).
- Regeneration – is a new birth (John 3:3-7; James 1:18; I Peter 1:23), a spiritual quickening (Eph. 2:1), the impartation of a new nature (II Cor. 5:17; II Peter 1:4), and a spiritual translation (Col. 1:13).
- Justification – God’s judicial declaration that a believing sinner is righteous because of Christ’s righteousness and acceptable sacrifice (Rom. 3:24, 4:5, 5:1,18; I Cor. 6:11; Gal. 2:16, 3:24).
- Faith – involves relying on the finished work of Christ at the cross for salvation (Acts 16:31; Rom. 1:17; Eph. 2:8-9).
- Sanctification – The act of setting apart the believer from sin unto God. Not only is the believer redeemed from the penalty of sin, but is rescued from the power of sin by the Holy Spirit as he consecrates himself to Christ (I Thess. 4:3).
- Positional Sanctification – referring to the Christian position in Christ. Our holy standing before God, separating us from the world and the penalty of sin (I Cor. 6:11; Heb. 10:10; I Peter 1:2).
- Progressive Sanctification - resulting from the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian. As he grows in grace the believer is being set apart to Christ from sin (John 17:17; Eph. 5:26; II Tim. 2:21; II Peter 3:18).
- Complete sanctification – our full sanctification will be completed when we see Christ face to face in heaven (I John 3:1-3; Phil. 3:20-21).
The Universal Church – We believe the Scriptures teach that:
The universal church is a living, spiritual body made up of genuine New Testament believers (see above article on salvation) (Acts 15:14). It was established by Jesus Christ, who is its sole Head and it is His “body” for service and His “bride” for glory (Eph. 1:22-23, 3:21, 5:23-32). It was revealed through the Apostles (Acts 2:41-47). It was empowered and perpetuated by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). The church is a body peculiar to the age of grace and is entirely distinct from the nation of Israel. It began with the New Testament saints at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13). It will be consummated at the coming of Christ in the Rapture (I Thess. 4:13-18).
The Local Church – We believe the Scriptures teach that:
The church universal is manifested through the local church with Christ as its head and the Word of God as its authority (Eph. 1:22-23, 5:23-32; Col. 1:18). The local church has the absolute right of self-government which is free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Acts 14:23). The one and only Head is Christ through the Holy Spirit’s direction by the Word. The officers of the church are pastor and deacon whose qualifications and duties are laid out in I Tim. 3:1-7 and 3:8-13 respectively (Acts 6:5, 14:23, 20:28; I Peter5:1-4). The church exists to equip and edify the saints to know, follow and obey God in order that all might worship and glorify God (Acts 1:8; Eph 3:21, 4:11-12; Acts 20:32). It is Scriptural for churches of like faith to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel (Acts 15:22; II Cor. 8:23-24). Each local church is the sole judge and final authority of the measure and method of it cooperation, and on all matters of membership, polity, government, discipline, and benevolence (I Cor. 5:11-13, 16:1-3).
The Ordinances of the Church – We believe the Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ established two ordinances for His Church: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
We believe that baptism is by immersion (John 3:23; Matt. 3:16). It is an indication of obedience (Rom. 6:3-5; Matt. 28:19). It demonstrates the believer’s identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. For this reason, the mode of baptism (by immersion after salvation) is important (Acts 8:36-39; Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12). It is a picture of the believer’s turning from sin to new life in Christ (Acts 2:40-42).
We believe the Lord’s Supper (Communion) is a memorial commemoration of our Lord’s death (I Cor. 11:23-28). The breaking of bread and the juice of the vine are symbols of the price He paid for us with His broken body and shed blood until He comes (Luke 22:15-20). This commemoration should always be preceded by solemn self-examination (I Cor. 11:28).
The Last Things – We believe that God has revealed His plan
and program for the end of this age in His Holy Word.
The Return of Christ - We believe that the next even on God’s prophetic calendar is the personal imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ to catch away the church. This event is known as the Rapture (I Thess. 5:1-11; II Thess.2). We believe that the dead in Christ shall rise first and then the living shall be “caught up”. This is the “blessed hope” of the believer (John 14:1-3; I Cor. 15:51-58).
The Rapture will be followed by the Tribulation. The tribulation is a seven-year period when the world will be under the control of the Anti-Christ and God’s wrath and judgment will be poured out on the world.
During this time, in Heaven, the believer’s response to God’s Word will be evaluated at the Judgment Seat of Christ for reward or loss (I Cor. 3:10-15; II Cor. 5:9-10; John 14:1-3).
The Tribulation will be followed by the Millennial Reign of Christ. The Tribulation will come to a close with the visible, bodily return of Christ to the earth in power and great glory with His church to defeat the Anti-Christ, Satan and all his evil hosts followed by The Judgment of the Nations. Satan will be bound for 1,000 years and peace and righteousness will cover the whole earth (Rev. 20:1-3). At the close of the Millennial Kingdom, Satan will be loosed for a time and lead a rebellion against Christ (I Tim. 4:1-5; II Tim. 3:1-5). Satan shall be defeated and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity (Rev. 20:10). The wicked dead shall be judged at the Great White Throne and shall be condemned to everlasting punishment in the Lake of Fire (Prov. 11:31; Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:41, 46; Rev. 20:11-15).
The Millennial Reign will be followed by the New Heaven and the New Earth. The final event in God’s plan and program is a new heaven and a new earth because the first heaven and the first earth were passed away (II Peter 3:1-18; Rev. 21:1). God’s people shall dwell with Him for all eternity.
The Eternal State – Heaven and Hell – We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked. There shall be a bodily resurrection of all men (John 5:28-29). The saved to eternal life in Heaven (Luke 23:43; II Cor. 5:8; Gal. 3:22). The unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment in the Lake of Fire.
At Death - The souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord. They await the first resurrection when the soul and body will be reunited and glorified to be forever with the Lord (Matt.25:46; John 11:25-26; Rom. 6:17-18; Phil. 1:23, 3:21; I Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:5-6).
The souls of unbelievers are, at death, absent from the body and in conscious misery until the second resurrection when with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, they shall be cast into the Lake of Fire not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment (Prov. 11:31; I Peter 4:18; Rev. 20:14).